Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung said "Shame is a soul eating emotion". Older millenials and some baby boomers are all too familiar with the burning fires of shame. The homosexual lifestyle is still considered sinful in the black community.
It is so sinful that some gays deny their homosexuality even to other homosexuals who live their lives openly.
It is why R&B legend Luther Vandross, who died in 2005, went to his grave without revealing his gay lifestyle. And it is the reason rumored gays such as Tyler Perry and Queen Latifah will probably do the same.
So when R&B icon Patti LaBelle shared her memories of a closeted Vandross with Andy Cohen on a segment of Watch What Happens Live, we nod our heads in agreement.
“He did not want his mother to be [upset] -- although she might have known -- he wasn’t going to come out and say this to the world,” LaBelle said. “And he had a lot of lady fans. He told me that he just didn’t want to upset the world,” she added. “It was hard for him.”
The reaction to LaBelle's statement was wildly mixed, from anger to frustration to disappointment.
Wendy Williams ripped LaBelle for "outing" Vandross.
Most of us knew Vandross was gay and living with his boyfriend (who resembled a light skinned Gerald Levert). As others have noted, Vandross didn't hide his gay lifestyle, he just didn't discuss it.
TheGrio.com writer Gerren Keith Gaynor, a Morehouse grad, is among the crowd who believe it is a tragedy that Vandross had to hide his homosexuality in the first place.
He described Vandross as living his life in a prison. But from all outward appearances Vandross lived his life to the fullest. Apparently so do Perry, Latifah, Tichina Arnold and Murphy.
For that matter, the blog owner has never discussed her lesbianism with her mother, for the same reason that Vandross didn't. Why is it necessary to force others to accept our lifestyle?
Gaynor says society still has a long way to go to achieve full acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. But most of us know it will never happen as long as there black churches in the black community.